Violence against women
Violence against women, including domestic violence, remained widespread. Female genital mutilation continued to be illegally practised, especially in rural areas. Reports indicated that in parts of the country, between 18 and 100 per cent of girls were subjected to female genital mutilation. No prosecutions were reported.
The government continued the forcible return of refugees from Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo that began in May 2006. In early 2007 thousands of individuals deemed to be "illegal immigrants" were forcibly returned to these countries. Many of those returned had been registered as refugees or were in the process of seeking refugee status and some had lived in Tanzania for 15 years or more. Many complained of harassment, beatings and looting of property by the law enforcement officials carrying out the process of repatriation.
Prison conditions remained harsh, with new reports of severe overcrowding in most prisons. In March and September, pre-trial detainees in prisons in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Dodoma protested against delays in their court hearings and against harsh prison conditions.
The authorities failed to investigate allegations of human rights violations, including unlawful killings by the police.
- On 5 September, police in Moshi shot at close range and killed 14 people. Police alleged that the 14 were armed and were preparing to raid a bank. By the end of 2007 there had been no investigations by the authorities into these killings.
Freedom of expression
In February the government published a draft Media Services Bill 2007 to regulate the media. It proposed setting up a registration mechanism for both individual journalists and media outlets, and a statutory Media Standards Board responsible for regulating the print media. The bill was criticized on the grounds that it imposed restrictions on the work of journalists, allowed for political interference in the broadcast media, and required every publisher and broadcaster to deposit a cash bond. Critics argued that the system was open to abuse and could be used to suppress criticism in the media. By the end of 2007 the bill had not been passed by parliament.
All death sentences in mainland Tanzania were commuted to life imprisonment in 2006. However, the death penalty remained part of the penal law and there were no efforts by the government to abolish it during the year.